Organisations are keen to show off their equality programmes at the moment. But how good are those programmes and how easy is it to create something that is really meeting expectations? It’s a difficult question to get an answer to. Most organisations like to throw numbers around without actually doing any real research into what inclusivity and equality mean.
At the Atlassian Summit Europe 2017 in Barcelona, Enterprise Times caught up with Aubrey Blanche. Aubrey is the Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Atlassian.Blanche is also a trained social scientist and this added some very interesting depth to the conversation. Notice that her job title does not say equality. We were lucky enough to be able to talk to Blanche about the complexities behind creating, managing and deploying a programme that really delivers diversity in the workplace.
Part of the challenge that Blanche believes organisations face is understanding exactly what diversity means. The sheer complexity of diversity can confuse and make the job harder. What Blanche says is: “Embrace the complexity of it to make a more inclusive organisation.”It sounds easy but is it?
According to Blanche you just need to: “Embrace that you have no idea what to do and that the right people will tell you if you create the right environment.” For many organisations understanding what the right environment is will be challenging. The solution, Blanche says, is to listen and find out what the culture and practices are like. One key element it to make sure that it includes everyone. To make that work at Atlassian, Blanche ran a weekly programme based on scientific social research to educate everyone.
This was a podcast that was more than interesting. It made me, as the interviewer, think about my attitudes and how I approach things. Perhaps the one thing that Blanche didn’t say, and which I suspect many organisations would love, is how to build your own diversity playbook.
Listen to the podcast to hear what else Blanche had to say. If you don’t want to listen online then download it and listen to it on your device of choice.